Which resin produces fast, inexpensive parts for FDM in aerospace applications?
SABIC’s Innovative Plastics business announced that its strong, lightweight, flame-retardant ULTEM 9085 resin now helps to address one of the biggest challenges for aerospace OEMs – the ability to produce small volume parts quickly and cost-effectively. Together with Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM®) 3d printing technology from Stratasys, Inc., this material is enabling Stratasys’ customer, Taylor-Deal Aviation LLC (TDA), Dallas, Texas, to create specialty fluid and air handling parts in hours rather than weeks, while meeting the latest industry regulations for flame, smoke and toxicity.
Key benefits of this unique new use of ULTEM 9085 resin with FDM include enhanced design flexibility, cost-effective low production runs, accelerated cycle times and compliance with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and OEM flame-smoke-toxicity regulations.
“Taylor-Deal Aviation is pioneering new technologies that give aerospace customers cost, time and weight savings,” said Brian M. Taylor, president, Taylor-Deal Aviation. “With SABIC’s high-performance ULTEM resin and Stratasys’ advanced FDM technology, we are creating exciting new designs that enable the cost-effective manufacture of small quantities of specialty parts. This new solution is helping us to rapidly supply customers with superior components offering FAA compliance and light weight for better fuel efficiency and driving our growth into new global markets.”
“Our Fused Deposition Modeling equipment is ideal for quickly producing parts with complex geometries that could not be done as easily or cost-effectively using traditional manufacturing processes,” said Ryan Sybrant, business development manager, Stratasys. “Success with FDM also depends upon using the right material. Combining FDM technology with SABIC’s ULTEM resin gives customers like Taylor-Deal Aviation a total solution. It’s an alternative design and manufacturing method that can create finished parts for demanding aviation applications.”
The patented Stratasys FDM process, and additive manufacturing process, creates three-dimensional parts directly from computer aided design files, layer-by-layer, for use in design verification, prototyping, development and manufacturing.
FDM technology solves two key challenges for TDA:
In custom aircraft designs and modifications there are geometric limitations that make traditional manufacturing methods ineffective.
Tooling for fiberglass parts and machining costs for metallic parts make them too expensive for low production runs that are very common in aerospace.
Compared to competitive materials such as polyetheretherketone (PEEK), ULTEM 9085 resin delivers compliance with FAA FAR 25.853 requirements, including Ohio State University (OSU) 55/55. It features inherent flame retardance without additives. ULTEM 9085 resin also provides a high strength-to-weight ratio, outstanding elevated thermal resistance, high strength and stiffness, and broad chemical resistance.
David Wildgoose, general manager, Engineering Resins, Innovative Plastics, noted, “The physical properties of ULTEM resin enhance the value of FDM technology to quickly produce differentiated manufactured components. As a result, TDA not only gains efficiencies from the FDM process, but is also able to deliver custom components that meet the most stringent aircraft safety requirements and contribute to sustainability. Using FDM with ULTEM resin presents great opportunities for a range of applications where there were previously no cost-effective solutions.”
FDM technology using ULTEM 9085 resin can be applied to other industries, such as rail and other transportation sectors, where it is vital to remove manufacturing costs, eliminate weight to reduce fuel consumption, improve design freedom, and meet flame-smoke-toxicity safety standards. Applications include parts and ductwork to handle air or fluids in hidden spaces, or other parts requiring complex geometries. Other industries that benefit from Stratasys’ technology include automotive, consumer, medical and military.
Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC)
Taylor-Deal Aviation, LLC (TDA)